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American Eagle earnings up, CEO to retire

BY CSA STAFF

New York –American Eagle Outfitters Inc. officially announced the retirement of its chief executive officer. The chain, which has seen its seen sales falter of late, also posted a 47% rise in profits for the fourth quarter on cost-cutting.

American Eagle said its CEO James O’Donnell, 70, will stay with the retailer until a successor is chosen and will work through the transition period. O’Donnell started with American Eagle as its COO in 2000. He became co-CEO in 2002 and CEO in 2003.

American Eagle’s earnings climbed to $87 million for the fourth quarter, up from $59.3 million a year ago. Last year’s quarter included a $20.3 million loss from stores it has since closed.

Sales in the fourth quarter fell 4% to $916 million. Analysts on average had expected $919.2 million.Same-store sales fell 7%.

Adjusted earnings from continuing operations in the quarter were $87 million, up from $59.3 million a year earlier.

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Walgreens selling pharmacy benefits management unit for $525 million

BY CSA STAFF

Deerfield, Ill. –Walgreen Co. said Wednesday it is leaving the pharmacy benefits management business, selling its Walgreens Health Initiatives operation to Catalyst Health Solutions Inc. for $525 million in cash. The deal will leave Walgreens free to focus on its drug store network, which is the largest in the United States.

Walgreens’ pharmacy benefits management business has never approached the size of Caremark, the pharmacy benefits management business of CVS Caremark Corp.,

The deal more than doubles Catalyst’s size, bringing its total membership to about 18 million members from 7 million. The Rockville, Md., company said it will handle about 165 million prescriptions a year after the deal is complete, compared to about 80 million previously.

Walgreens and Catalyst expect to complete the deal by the end of June pending regulators approval.

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Bon-Ton Q4 income, sales up

BY CSA STAFF

York, Penn. –Bon-Ton Stores Inc. said Wednesday its fiscal fourth-quarter profit climbed 6%.

The department store chain said its net income rose to $85 million for the period ended Jan. 29, up from $80.3 million a year earlier.

Revenue edged up 1% to $1.03 billion from $1.02 billion.

Revenue at stores open at least a year rose 0.8%.

Bon-Ton Stores’ annual net income was $21.5 million. In the prior year, it lost $4.1 million.

Full-year revenue increased 1% to $3.05 billion from $3.03 billion. Same-store sales were up 0.9%.

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